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Date TimeJuly 29, 2019
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Maximum Pressure: Two Words That Could Start a War with Iran
President Trump has said he does not want war with Iran, but that his main objective is to prevent Tehran from getting a nuclear weapon. On the advice of National Security Advisor John Bolton, the administration has pursued that goal using  “maximum pressure,” a tactic which thus far has consistently failed. Bolton’s preferred strategy has pushed Iran closer to the bomb, incentivized menacing behavior, and increased the chance of war. If we are to check this deteriorating situation before it’s too late, a new, realistic strategy is necessary now.Fortunately, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is willing to work with Washington if such a pivot materializes. Iran, he said Wednesday, is "completely ready for just, legal and honest negotiations" for a new nuclear deal.  "But at the same time," he added, Iran is "not ready to sit at the table of surrender under the name of negotiations." This is precisely why maximum pressure doesn't work: It issues demands to Tehran but offers no benefits. Thus trying to force Iran to capitulate on all points and surrender national sovereignty virtually assures our interests continue to suffer and that the risk of war remains pointlessly high.

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